Low back pain: what is it? (physiotherapist's advice for healing)

Lower back pain refers to pain in the lower back. It is mainly caused by dysfunction of the L4, L5 vertebrae and the sacral region.

It can be incapacitating, and limit daily and professional activities. In order to prevent it from becoming chronic, an effective and appropriate treatment plan should be established.

This article helps you better understand lower back pain, and provides you with solutions to heal as quickly as possible.

Anatomical reminder of the lower lumbar region

La lumbar spine is located in the lower back and consists of five vertebrae, which are the bones that make up the spine. The vertebrae are stacked on top of each other and are separated by intervertebral discs.

These discs serve as shock absorbers for the spine and allow the vertebrae to move freely. The vertebrae are interconnected by facet joints, which allow slight movement between them.

La spinal cord crosses the center of the vertebrae and is protected by the spine. The spinal cord carries nerve impulses between the brain and the rest of the body.

The region lumbar lower vertebrae (primarily the L4 and L5 vertebrae) is responsible for supporting most of the body weight and supporting lower body movement. It is also vulnerable to injury due to its location and function.

This is where the term "low back pain" comes from.

Low back pain, all you need to know

La lumbago is one of the most common ailments. The lumbago is the second causes disability in adults. Symptoms can range from a dull ache to a sharp, stabbing pain, and can be made worse by activities like bending, lifting, or sitting for long periods of time.

In the case of low back pain, it mainly affects the L3-L4, L4-L5 or L5-S1 joints (unlike low back pain which affects any of the 5 lumbar vertebrae). There lumbago bass can even be caused by a problem with the the sacroiliac joint, which connects the bottom of the spine to the pelvis.

Le traitement de la lumbago basse varies depending on the underlying cause. This can come from:

  • intervertebral discs (such as a herniated disc, disc protrusion, degenerative disc disease, etc.)
  • joints (as in lumbar osteoarthritis, zygapophyseal or facet osteoarthritis, etc.)
  • a narrow spinal canal
  • spondylolisthesis
  • degenerative disc disease
  • scoliosis
  • etc.

How to diagnose low back pain?

Generally, a physical examination by a healthcare professional is enough to diagnose low back pain, and rule out serious damage.

This includes movements of the lumbar region in different directions, neurological tests, strength tests, and palpation of the spine.

If the practitioner wishes to clarify the diagnosis, he could order a medical imaging test (such as an X-ray or MRI).

What is the treatment for low back pain?

Le conservative treatment is usually the first step in managing lower back pain, as symptoms usually improve within a few weeks.

Le conservative treatment involves a combination of painkillersphysiotherapy (physiotherapy), bed rest if necessary. To these is added all cognitive psychological treatment which may be necessary in the presence of chronic low back pain.

Alternative treatments

Although not supported by solid scientific evidence, several alternative treatments are used to relieve symptoms and treat low back pain. Among the methods used are:

Infiltration and surgery

If low back pain symptoms persist and conservative treatments have failed to improve the symptoms, more invasive treatments may be chosen. Among the therapeutic options we have:

It should be noted that surgery is rarely indicated in cases of low back pain. Indeed, it is used more when low back pain is associated with nerve or spinal cord damage.

Besides, there is no guarantee of the success of the surgery and there are also associated risks involved. These will be discussed with the attending physician.

What about natural remedies?

Although they are not supported by solid scientific evidence, several natural products and home remedies are used to treat lower back pain, especially for their anti-inflammatory power.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of plants and essential oils that are effective in controlling pain and inflammation. The products are available on the site Country. Use promo code LOMBAFIT15 if you wish to obtain one of the following products, or any remedy aimed at relieving your symptoms and improving your quality of life:

  • Turmeric. Thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers very powerful, turmeric is one of the most used plants in a culinary and therapeutic context. The composition of turmeric is essentially made of essential oils, vitamins (B1, B2, B6, C, E, K) and trace elements. But it is to its composition rich in curcumin and curcuminoids that we owe them and calm skin of this spice.
  • Ginger. In addition to the special flavor it brings to the kitchen and its aphrodisiac properties, ginger is a root well known for its anti-inflammatory powers. the gingerol gives it its anti-inflammatory action. It is an active component acting on the inflammatory pain related to chronic joint inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, rheumatic diseases, etc. It has been proven that this active element is also effective in acting on the inflammation linked to arthritis and sciatica. Ginger also has other benefits thanks to its high potassium content and its richness in trace elements (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium) and vitamins (provitamin and vitamin B9).
  • Omega-3s. Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids that play a very important role in the functioning of our body. They are provided by food in three natural forms: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Beyond their action on the brain and the cardiovascular system, omega-3s prove very effective against inflammation. Indeed, they have the ability to act on the inflammatory mechanisms in osteoarthritis by slowing down cartilage destruction, thus they reduce the intensity of osteoarthritis pain. Since sciatica is most often linked to inflammation secondary to a herniated disc, it can also respond to omega-3s if you consume them regularly. 
  • Lemon eucalyptusEucalyptus is a plant most often used in the form of herbal tea or essential oil. She would have anti-inflammatory effects which give it the ability to act on the bone and joint pain in general and the pain of sciatica in particular.
  • wintergreen. Wintergreen is a shrub from which a very interesting essential oil is extracted. It is one of the most used essential oils in aromatherapy. This oil extracted from the shrub bearing the same name, is used in massage to relieve sciatica and act like a analgesic. Indeed, it provides a heating effect thanks to its ability toactivate blood circulation locally.
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